Sunday, November 11, 2007

Secondary Sid

It was brought up in the comments this past week that Sid has adopted the moniker of "Secondary Sid" from some factions out there on the internet.

The nickname alludes to the growing school of thought that Crosby isn't all what he's cracked up to be because a number of his assists are "secondary" (and there's a groundswell of opinion that the NHL has given Crosby assists on goals that he wasn't even on the ice for).

A secondary assist is just that: a secondary assist.

Crosby has the puck, passes it Malkin.
Malkin passes it Gonchar.
Gonchar scores.

Gonchar -- assisted by Malkin and Crosby (not by Crosby and Malkin).


When hearing about this mess, we went to Google to find out its origin.
Once we clicked SEARCH, we were now dung beetles, totally engulfed by shit.

This whole Secondary Sid thing came out of Washington.


The first topic brought up was Sidney being given the distinction of being the youngest captain in the history of the NHL.

It's not true, since Brian Bellows was 8 months younger when he was captain of the North Stars.

That's pretty much a slam-dunk. End of discussion.
There are some Pens fans who argue about Bellows' reign as captain, which was quite short.
But that doesn't matter.

Seth from [ Empty Netters ] shut it down.

Japers' Rink shut the door on it, too. [ Japers' Rink ]
Hooks Orpik and The Seeker were in the comment thread there.

A great quote came from callinectes on

" There is alot more to leadership than putting up points. You can live in your bubble enjoying Mario, Jaromir and Sid as your team's Captain, but they don't compare in leadership to Langway, Hunter and Clark. "

Leadership usually helps in bringing a Stanley Cup or two to the home town.


And then we get to the thick of it.
The Secondary Sid.

We'll hit the internet bacteria breeding ground first.
Also knows as message boards.

[ This thread ] at debates the "C" and Secondary Sid.

We'll tackle the most insane part about it first, which is the notion that Sid has been awarded phantom assists by NHL scorekeepers who are assigned by Gary Bettman.

nuftjedl: "my issue with the secondary assists isn't so much that he has them. it is the fact of there are a few times, more than a few, that he received when he shouldn't have. this is more of the "Bettman Touch" than just getting them."

FlyersSuck: "How else can you explain the 7 times last year in which Crosby got an assist at a home game when he wasn't even on the ice?"

And this was from a Sabres message board [ Thread ] :

brettkickeditin: "...I'm not even sure he deserves to have as many points as he has. I've seen him "earn" some pretty sketchy secondary assists. I think the league's marketing department is in cahoots with the refs. I swear, one of these days he's going to get an assist when he wasn't even on the ice for the goal."

We can honestly, truthfully say that Crosby has had no such treatment from the NHL or official game scorers over the past year or so.

We've never had a man-crush on Sid, and we've been quick to point out every time he makes a mistake or takes a stupid penalty.

And, since we've updated our own stats on this site manually after each game since the beginning of the '06-'07 season, we would be the first to wonder why Sid got a phantom assist, let alone the accused number of 7 unwarranted assists.
We don't care if Sid wins the Art Ross Trophy.

It's a ridiculous statement. Case closed.


And then there's the prevailing "Secondary Sid" theory. ( SST )
It basically means Sid's stats are stacked because roughly 40% of his assists are secondary.

We're not gonna argue about secondary assists and primary assists.
They've been around for a while.

The first instance of the SST popping up on the internet was after the Philly game last season, when Sid had 6 points.

[ 3 Grumpy Caps Fans ] had a post about it.

" So Bing Crosby had a goal and 5 assists, only three of which were secondary.

I think it's time the league reviewed the whole secondary assist thing. It's getting to be like Gretzky's farewell tour, when the guy would get an assist any time he was on the ice and a goal was scored. I know the player's union would never go for it, but this is getting ridiculous. "

The blog came back about a month later and used their blog as a toilet. [ Post ]

"Let's face it folks, Alexander Ovechkin has more charisma in his right pinkie than Crosby has in his whole body. He also has more scoring ability than Crosby will ever dream of. Disagree? Compare The Goal to The Imitation. One is a goal for all-time, something I'll be telling my brother's kids I saw years from now. The other? Someone laying out to make a deflection. And yet every hack with a keyboard in Bristol seems to think that they belong in the same conversation. They don't, and time will show that they won't.

You want to talk about being a complete player? How about putting a shoulder into someone. I've never, EVER seen Sid put a solid lick on any player, much less a physically imposing one. Alexander Ovechkin plays a monster physical game against every team he plays. He doesn't just beat up on the small guys, the grind guys, the lesser players of the NHL. Don't believe me?
Ask Forsberg how his head feels. Or search youtube for Crosby and hits. Find anything? Thought not. Now do the same for Ovechkin. I'll see you in half an hour when you're done with the first few pages of highlights.

But yeah, E.J., you're right. Crosby is a complete player. Completely soft.
The guy has more diving minors than hits.

Oh, there's also that little thing called the Calder trophy, given to the best rookie in the NHL. Last year, Ovechkin "edged" Crosby in the voting, winning by a margin of only 119 first place votes (there were 129 cast). That after "experts" like Hradek and Suck Burnside predicted one of the closest votes of all time. Now I'm not saying Crosby is not a good player. He most certainly is. In time he may become one of the all-time greats. What I am saying is this: Putting the Secondary One on a pedestal above the Russian Machine (see, he's even got better nicknames) is more than just lazy journalism. It's downright offensive, and it makes a mockery of what a "complete" player, and hockey in general, should be all about. And Caps fans should be LIVID about it. I know I am."

And that's exactly why we don't write in paragraphs.
It's too hard to read paragraphs on a computer screen without losing your place.
It gets frustrating.

And that post is exactly why we never compare Ovechkin and Crosby.
It's a never-ending joke.

Picking apart what someone writes and finding things to criticize about it
is one of the easiest thing to do in the world.
And we are not below that.
But we don't care enough to do it.


This is the initial post in the message-board thread that we linked above.

imau2fan: "Thornton 92 assists (54 primary, 38 secondary), 58.7% primary
Crosby 84 assists (48 primary, 36 secondary), 57.1% primary
Savard 74 assists (39 primary, 35 secondary), 52.7% primary."
-- These are stats from '06-'07. --

Solid breakdown of the stats.
We're puzzled that there's no Secondary Thornton theory going around.

A rather convincing and noteworthy article came from boltsfan's blog on [ Fox Sports ].

It was in March of '07, where he compared the stats of Crosby and Lecavalier with secondary assists removed.

"Crosby isnt half the player Lecavalier is. Vinny is a force every night for his team, logging over 22 mins a game on the ice, playing power play, penalty kill and even strength. His even rating may turn some people off, but when you're on the penalty kill nearly the entire 2 minutes, it will affect your +/-. "

Ouch, too bad (+/-) isn't calculated during special teams.
Other than that, the blog raises some points that any Crosby-hater/NHL fan will have to look at twice.

In closing, these arguments are all ridiculous.

Pens fans would hate Crosby if he was in Washington.

On the flip side, Caps fans wouldn't complain if they had Sid.
Pens fans wouldn't complain if they had Ovechkin.

Lightning fans wouldn't complain if they had Crosby.
Pens fans wouldn't complain if they had Lecavalier.


Anonymous said...

thats just plain funny .. jealousy is a bitch isnt it. ovechkin is a great play .. sids a legend in the making, thats all there is too it. its why penguin fans dont waste our time badmouthing alexander, hes not in sids league and we know it, so no need to complain.. also, langway over mario? im speaking for the entire hockey world when i spit at you and your pathetic caps

wilsmith said...

I like how they can just brush off the diving deflection when comparing to Ovechkins sack-o-luck goal he scored against the Coyotes. I don't know if he scored or the Coyotes just let it go in... I can never tell. Okay jokes aside, two great plays by two great players, why try to bring one down?

I like Ovechkin, even as a Pens fan. He rips shots when he shouldn't, and he hits people a lot. I like that, but since he's a Cap, I have to hate him. It's like law or something. But comparing him and Cros isn't even worth doing because they're totally different players, and they have totally different roles on their teams. Whatev. I've never seen a group of disgruntled fans quite like the Caps'.

as for the Seconday Sid theory... seriously, get a hobby or something.

Anonymous said...

ovechkin is a great player. He brings intangibles to the game that Sid can only dream of.

On the other hand, Sid single-handedly puts butts in seats for the Pens. I don't have official numbers, but the pens sold out a number of games en route to being the laughingstock of the league in 05-06. When was the last time that Washington filled their arena to capacity?

stokes said...

Lecavalier is a solid player; will be for a long time too. i dont give two shits about him or tampa bay, until they beat us 3 times this year again....

that being said...A-Hole, he's a sniper and that's it. he hits people. so what? go fuck yourself. Sid is twice the player that he is, and while A-Hole is a very talented guy, like wilsmith said, he's a totally different league and the Calder trophy in '05-06 was a joke. everyone knows that it shouldn't have gone to A-Hole, atleast not that big of a landslide. Not to job Malkin or get off-track, but given 10-15 more games, Statsny may have become your 06-07 calder trophy winner.

Washington is a joke. A JOKE! they are jealous and staff said it: if roles were reversed, we'd job Sid and love A-Hole. that's how it goes.

i'd still hate sean avery regardless

nice work staff. solid post and research.

FlyerNation said...

Sid sucks, get over it. Be prepared for another top 5 draft pick this year again losers.

chris said...

this is really absurd.

caps fans should stop focusing on crosby, and worry about their shitty franchise that got AO (who is sick on the ice, but completely UNMARKETABLE) and still can't do anything

how long until ovechkin is asking for a trade out of that dump?...sooner than later, i think

go pens

Anonymous said...

They are just jealous because of all they hear about is Sidney Crosby and not their Ovechky...Just the same as i'm tired of hearing about Brady and Manning all the time..that's all it is.

Andrew said...

Capital fans are major jokes. Anyone who hates on Crosby is simply jealous. Find me a fan of any of the other 29 teams in the NHL who says "I would hate to have Crosby on my team," and I'll give everyone $100. And I wonder myself why people don't rag on Thornton or Savard. It's pure jealousy, and it makes me laugh. By the way, if Ovechkin is so good, then why are we like 5-0 against that garbage team over the past two seasons? Capitals fans have their collective heads' up their asses.

Anonymous said...

the funniest thing about this entire post was the direct quote that said Langway, Clark, and that other no-name should be prefered Mario, Jags, and Sid as far as leadership goes.

how many Hart trophies do those 3 have again? just wondering...

Lauren said...

So basically what all these people are saying is that secondary assists don't count for shit?
Yeah, that makes sense...Let's see what their teams would do without those opportunities being capitalized on by a solid player.

Hating on any player in the NHL is pretty ridiculous.
Every single man on the ice has his virtues and his vices, and every man has a different role and style.
Sid and Ovechkin just get the media attention, and THAT'S what I think people really have a problem with.

I'm starting to think people would rather be Crosby or Alex fans than HOCKEY fans.
Sure, it's fun to bitch here and there and make fun of players to vent some steam, but taking it this seriously? Get real.

The Seeker said...

Actually, there's a REASON that Bellow's name has an asterisk beside his being named INTERIM captain.

Interim means he only filled-in temporarily while the REAL captain was out.

I suppose the jag-offs would have preferred the NHL called Sid the youngest first full-time captain?

It's the NHL making that claim and hyping it in BOTH cases.....Sid as youngest Captain and going out of their way to say Bellows was the interim captain. Complain to them, it's not Sid's doing.

meecrofilm said...

Actually, playing on the PK can only help your +/- rating, as you get a 'plus' if your team scores shorthanded, but no 'minus' obviously if you get scored on (at least I think that's how it works).

People who job the second assist are complete jokes and immediately lose all hockey-talk credibility. Unassisted goals aside.. without the second assist, there is no first assist. Without the first assist, there is no goal. Suck it, Trebek. Suck it long, and suck it hard.

The Seeker said...

"Let's face it folks, Alexander Ovechkin has more charisma in his right pinkie than Crosby has in his whole body."

Then I wonder why Crosby jerseys outsell all others if that's true?

Staff said...

you're right, meecro.

if we are going to abolish second assists, then how many assists, and thus points, would the top d-men in NHL history have?

Most of their assists come from their breakout passes to B who passes to A.

I'm still flabbergasted over the phantom-assist theory that people push.


Pooch said...

The whole secondary assist argument sounds pretty stupid, especially since they're not comparing sid to other players (i.e. Thornton).

It makes sense that the more assists a player gets, the higher the likelihood that some of those assists will be secondary (the best players who are setting up all the plays won't be the "primary" guy every single time..they're not the only players on the team, so statistically it makes no sense).

Ryan said...

SST theory = joke.

Sid/AO debate = retarded.

Anonymous said...

Basically it goes like this: Crosby is a target and always will be. Just like Gretzky was and Lemieux was. This thing with the secondary assist is just ridiculous. Its just another way to job him when there really isnt anything else.

The thing with the leadership. Mario leaded on and off the ice. Thats what makes a great leader. And the Crosby vs Ovechkin=not even a comparable battle. Two different players. Two different roles. Not even a rivalry. Just something the NHL is trying to make into a big thing that isnt even big at all.

Ashley said...

It's funny how everybody says "Crosby isn't half the player that (name random player) is because blah blah blahhhhhhh"

But, as you guys have said, they wouldn't be complaining if they had Sid on their team.

As for the 'Secondary Sid' theory, I wonder if the idiots who came up with this just finished watching "The Rocket". In that movie, they talk about how the NHL didn't want a francophone to win the scoring title so they would give players assists even when they were not on the ice for the goal...that way Maurice Richard wouldn't win the Art Ross Trophy.

Anonymous said...

I'm not mr grammar and mine certainly isnt the greatest, no doubt, but did anon just use the word "leaded?" i'm not trying to job another pens/hockey fan, but seriously, "leaded"?

we all have a brain fart occasionally, i guess.

Anonymous said...

FlyerNation said...

Sid sucks, get over it. Be prepared for another top 5 draft pick this year again losers.

11/11/2007 6:48 PM

Wow. You come off as a halfway intelligent poster on LGP. Are these your true colors, or are you just flaming?

Jonny V said...

Thanks for finally doing the research and putting that shit to beddy-bye. Secondary Sid has to be one of the Pensblog Charlie things i've ever heard.

And I got a kick out of ol' Charlies appearance on Mondesi's house. Classic, boys...

wilsmith said...

dammit, someone beat me to calling out "leaded" on anon.

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time the NHL gave 2 points for assists and 1 point for goals.

Could you imagine how their heads would explode if the NHL still scored that way?

The Emo Cow said...

you know, all this shit about Crosby getting points when he's not even on the ice... regardless of if it's true or not, that can still happen in this wonderful game we call hockey.

so sid passes to recchi on his way to the bench. recchi passes it to roberts. by this time sid is on the bench... and roberts shoots and scores.

guess who gets a "phantom" point?


have these people making these claims ever actually watched a hockey game? I know that I've seen that happen.

hell, I've even seen someone get a goal when they weren't on the ice (because they shot it deep and went to the bench, and the goalie flubbed the puck into the goal).

get serious.

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous, if you look at sid's stats against AO'a Sid has 3g 10a on the PP AO 5g 1a. Crosby draws double and even triple teams and has the ability to find the open man and even if it gets passed again before somebody scores he is the one who created the scoring chance or goal. In Ovechkin's case I guess you do your team alot of good when you just stand there and none of the other players on your team can get you the puck. I mean 1 assist on the PP what a joke. He only has 2 more goals than Sid. They are both amazing players but Sid obviously can create more on the ice than AO.

ryan c said...

honestly, i've seen le-cav and ovechkin (especially ovechkin), take shifts off. you know you're getting all heart with crosby. and, i don't really remember reading anything about le-cav's and ovech's off season workouts & dedication... i do however remember a nice article about how vinny wanted to switch from a visor to no face protection when he came to the nhl... nice read (can you sense the sarcasm?). crosby made a whole franchise better... ovech has a team with a solid goalie and they're... well... lets just say a.o. had a great seat for the playoffs (i imagine his living room t.v. is a pretty sweet set up... and shoot, he might even have a great secondary t.v. to watch more games than one!).

Brett said...

there are various hockey groups and applications on facebook, and I was stupid enough to click the "discuss" button on one of the applications, that took me to a discussion board on facebook about hockey.

Everyday, the active threads are as follows:

"Toronto is the best team ever!"
"Who will in the cup?"
"I fucking hate that pussy Crosby"

And it's almost as if none of these people have even watched a Pens game. One of the longest threads still active is a poll asking people whether or not Crosby deserves to be captain. It's about half-and-half at the moment.. and lots of people say no because he's not a team leader and nobody looks up to him.

And one guy said the captain should be Malkin.


that's the type of people you've gotta deal with when you go on discussion boards.

Stoosh said...

I still can't get past the fact that this is coming from a fanbase who is so busy slamming our world-class superstar that they practically completely ignore their own.

Case in point: Saturday night game in Washington, hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning. Per the recap, the Caps drew 14,617 fans. They played to 78% capacity. On a Saturday night.

I like Ovechkin. I like watching him play and it's too bad every night he skates at home, he's skating in front of a building that's only 75% full. Because he plays for the Caps, I root against him and his team pretty much all the time, but I still think he's a terrific player and I'd love to see him here.

And there's no right or wrong answer to who you'd rather have or who's the better player. He and Sid are two different players. Would you rather have Magic Johnson or Larry Bird? Walter Payton or Eric Dickerson? Joe Montana or Brett Favre? Is there really a wrong answer there?

I'll say this...I think the objective case could be made that Sid makes players on his line better, and I'm not sure that can be said of Ovechkin. Not yet. But it's a lot tougher for a winger to make his linemates better; a center handles and distributes the puck more.

Verizon Center seats 18,672 for hockey. Per ESPN's totals, the Caps are averaging 14,236 fans per game. 76% capacity. Way to go, Caps fans. Way to turn out for your own superstar.

Stoosh said...


I see the LGP board has apparently gotten stale, eh?

You'd love to see Sid in orange and black...admit it. Just like every fan of every other team in the league, they love to hate him now but they'd trade their best player - maybe even their two best - to have him in their colors. And if that ever came to pass, they'd change their opinions of him faster than John Goodman chasing the Twinkie truck down the street.

Good job rebuilding your team. I said last year that the Flyers team we saw in the eighth game was a much better team, and Holmgren made some nice deals after that.

But even you can admit it's a little early to start lining us up for a top five pick.

FireFox said...

Such hate out there for Crosby.

Hate = jealousy

Seriously, I like AO and I like Lecavalier. All 3 are great players. We already know that AO and Crosby get along well and the rivalry between the 2 was only created by the media and the fans. Why must people start so much crap? Let them play the damn game. Stop being a fool while trying to compare who is better. Lemieux and Gretzky's careers are long over and people still debate who was better. It is a waste of time. They are all great players. Just root for the one on your team and acknowledge that the others are good.

Jedi Master Yoda said...

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to jealously. I sense much jealously in Flyers/Caps fans.

John said...

Why don't we ask the NHL players who they thought the best player in the leaugue is... you know, the guys who are actually on the ice.

Natty Bumpo said...

anyone can defend themselves against arguments that don't actually exist. it's called the straw man.

only complete losers on random flyers and caps message boards are going to argue that bettman is inventing assists for sid, even when he's not on the ice, or that some HUGE percentage of his points are secondary assists. and how the fuck does this have anything to do with him being a captain? let's make up some other random stuff to muddy the argument!

my personal issue: a secondary assist is crap, and shouldn't be directly compared to a goal. so when someone says "alex has 106 points and sid has 102 points" (rookie season), that's just completely misleading because the two weren't even close that year...alex with 13 more goals. (even more lopsided this past season, as alex has 1.37 points per game and sid had 1.36 points per game, but alex had .79 goals per game and sid had .45 goals per game!). and to further my position that total points is a ridiculous way to compare these two players: really, how is a secondary assist different than a tertiary assist in certain circumstances? malone to crosby to malkin to gonchar for the goal. really, crosby deserves a point and malone doesn't? isn't that just good team hockey? why not give points to the entire line? from the numbers pens blog gives, it seems like most players have about 40% of their assists as secondary assists (at least thornton, crosby and savard do). so 67% of crosby's points this year have been assists and therefore about 27% of his points have been secondary assists. crap. and funny how pens blog just skips right over the lecavelier argument, jumping on the guy's obvious mistake about penalty kill plus/minus. i like the idea of "points without secondary assists"...a lot! and even that doesn't completely do it for me, because you can score a goal without an assist, but you can't record an assist without a goal. there are 1.8 points recorded for every goal....goals-scored is a more important stat than primary assists as well.

anyhow, i'll stand by my statement that the secondary assist is a useless retarded stat and doesn't belong in hockey, and sidney got 4 of them in his second playoff game this season and was listed as the "star of the night" on versus network. B.S.

Natty Bumpo said...

just to add to my comment, i think sidney crosby is a ridiculously good hockey player. great, even. and i'll join the group of pens commenters that agrees the two players (ovechkin and crosby) play completely different games, and don't lend themselves to direct comparison.


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